Ducati’s new Scramblers, AMG’s One gets a finish line, Big-Block Volvo Gasser
Ducati keeps the Scrambler party rockin’ with two new versions
Intake: Ducati is not letting its popular Scrambler stagnate. An update will bring two new iterations of the bike to showrooms worldwide: the Scrambler 1100 Tribute Pro and the Scrambler Urban Motard. The 1100 Tribute Pro is being released in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of Ducati’s signature twin-cylinder, air-cooled engine. Styling touches that tie the new model to those of the early ’70s include a brown seat with dedicated stitching, spoke wheels, and Giallo Ocra livery topped with a period-correct Ducati logo on the tank. The Urban Motard bike takes the Scrambler platform and refocuses it slightly by fitting a high-mount front fender, spoked 17-inch wheels, and number plates hung below the seat. The Motard sports the more rev-happy 803cc L-twin, while the Tribute Pro is equipped with the 1079cc L-twin tuned for bottom end grunt.
Exhaust: Taking a bike that was already retro-focused and dialing it up a notch is a fairly safe play, we’re not mad about it. For one, that vintage logo looks fantastic on the Tribute Pro gas tank. (High pipes are always a hit, too.) Ducati’s misuse of the term “motard,” however, we cannot forgive. A motard is traditionally based on a motocross machine that is converted to pavement or track usage. High-mount front fenders and tacked on number plates do not a motard make. Yes, handling will likely be a bit sharper with the front wheel losing one inch in diameter, but make no mistake, the Scrambler Urban Motard is a standard-class machine.
Mercedes-AMG One gets go-ahead for 2022 production
Intake: It’s been a long time coming, but the Mercedes-AMG One hypercar is finally headed to production in 2022, according to a report by Autocar. The 275 customers who placed orders for the F1-engined, 1000-plus horsepower machine are said to have been notified that their cars will begin rolling out of Affalterbach next year. When the car was first revealed in 2017, eager buyers shelled out over $2.5m and were told to expect delivery two years later. However, problems making the 1.6-liter turbocharged V-6 hybrid engine road-ready were greater than expected. These challenges included having to fit a gasoline particulate filter to meet emissions rules in Europe, and figuring out what to do about the race engine’s 5000 rpm idle speed—more than a little impractical for daily driving. When the One eventually does start hitting the road, we’ll discover whether it can still meet its manufacturers claimed 218 mph top speed and run on electric power alone for up to 16 miles.
Exhaust: Not since the Ferrari F50 has a car maker tried to build a road car with a Formula 1-derived motor and today’s hybrid engines are way more complex than the normally-aspirated V-12 that Ferrari took from the track. Mercedes has been changing power units and taking grid penalties this season due to reliability issues and that’s hardly something they can afford to do with a halo production car.
Totally bonkers Volvo P1800 gasser sports supercharged big block, runs 10s
Intake: What now? A U.K. father and his trio of daughters revamped a far-gone Volvo P1800 chassis with a full restoration, turning it into something truly insane. Nicknamed Ain’t No Saint, this monster sports a supercharged Chevy 454 big-block and full gasser setup. The 600-hp monster can run 10s in the quarter mile—its fastest pass thus far is a 10.01 at 133 mph. It was unanimously selected by a panel of judges as one of the finalists for a U.K. Hot Wheels Legends Tour competition in which the winning entry will become a 1:64-scale die-cast car.
Exhaust:Not only does this whole setup look wicked, this once-dainty Swede apparently has the speed to back it up. “This is a beautiful example of a gasser—a drag racer with street car form,” said famed designer Ian Callum, one of the judges in the panel that selected Ain’t No Saint as one of the finalists. “Often with dragsters, the chassis is so important that the body gets overlooked, but this example is fabulous with great attention to detail. It’s a super quality, beautifully-built car. And it completely hits the Hot Wheels brief.” We couldn’t agree more, Mr. Callum.
Listen to this Honda Jazz play sweet, uh, jazz
Intake: South African musician The Kiffness has riffed on his Honda’s squeaky glove box to create a jazz track that’s gone viral on YouTube. After realising the groaning glovebox sounded like a funky horn, he added a door slam, synthesized cymbals, drums, bass, piano and a live trumpet—all played from the front seat, even tooting the car’s horn in time. His Honda is, of course, a little Jazz hatchback.
Exhaust: If cool car sounds are your kind of jazz then maybe you’ll like the Lexus Mindfulness Tracks that the Japanese luxury car maker has released on Spotify. Developed with mindfulness expert Christoph Spiessens the tracks use sounds such as the tailgate warning bell, seat motors, engine idle and screen washers, to create a relaxing vibe.
California governor signs law banning new equipment with small gas-powered engines
Intake: California will outlaw the sale of new gas-powered lawn mowers, leaf blowers, trimmers, chain saws, and golf carts as early as 2024. Under a new law signed by Governor Gavin Newsom, all new small-engine equipment producing less than 25 horsepower must be zero-emission by a yet-to-be-determined date. (That horsepower threshold should exempt motorcycles and side-by-sides, on account that most of those engines are over 25 hp.) Proponents of the law say small internal-combustion engines create as much smog-causing pollution in California as light-duty passenger cars. Although legislators say $30 million has been set aside to help professional landscapers and gardeners make the transition to zero-emission equipment, the Los Angeles Times reports that an estimated 50,000 small businesses will be affected by the law, not to mention private individuals.
Exhaust: We all care about protecting the environment for future generations, but if our math is correct, $30 million shared among 50,000 businesses comes to $600 apiece. That isn’t going to go very far, especially for commercial-grade equipment used by landscapers. And how many batteries will be required to complete a full day’s work? Since California already struggles to provide enough electricity to avoid rolling blackouts—particularly during wildfire season when gas-powered generators are not a safe alternative—charging those batteries could prove to be tricky. On some days, it could even be impossible.
Tony Stewart is lending his magic touch to two-car NHRA drag team for 2022
Intake: For a man that’s spent the majority of his life going around in circles, Tony Stewart is poised make big waves in straight-line racing come 2022. Yesterday, the 50-year-old motorsports mogul announced that Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) will field two entries in NHRA drag racing competition. His fiancé and multiple-time NHRA winner, Leah Pruett will campaign a Top Fuel rail, while series veteran Matt Hagan will aim to add a fourth NHRA Funny Car championship to the mantle. Stewart, who tested a top fueler earlier this summer, confirmed he has no plans to hop in a car and compete in drag racing’s highest level. The new NHRA endeavor rounds out Stewart’s stacked ownership portfolio that already includes a four-car Cup Series operation, an Xfinity Series team, Ohio dirt track Eldora Speedway, and the All Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Car Series.
Exhaust: Tony Stewart is no stranger to entering new disciplines. In the late-1990s, after winning an IndyCar championship, the man affectionately known as Smoke left full-time open-wheel racing in favor of stock car racing in the NASCAR Cup Series. There he won three driver championships prior to hanging up his helmet in 2016. As an owner, he’s also notched two Cup Series championships, and too many trophies to count in the grassroots circle track ranks. There is no doubt Stewart’s track record and his proven driver duo, combined with the sponsorship partners he can bring to the staging lanes, will translate into quick success in professional drag racing. Watch for Pruett and Hagan to hold a golden Wally, or two, in 2022.